Gloria writes a weekly column for the Ashfield Chad. Here is her column from December 14th, 2016:
As everyone writes and posts their Christmas cards, spreading some festive cheer ahead of the big day, we rely on hard-working posties to make sure our mail arrives.
This Monday was forecast to be the busiest posting day of the year and as such, it was a very suitable occasion to mark National Postal Workers’ Day.
The background to this year’s event is that the Communication Workers Union (CWU) has been campaigning to help safeguard the long-term future of our postal service.
A third strike was recently held by post office employees as the CWU fights against job cuts, the privatisation of crown post offices and plans to close the current pension scheme.
I know from my constituents how valuable post offices are to communities like ours and we should do all we can to make sure the postal service survives and thrives.
A lot of public support has already been gathered and people can also show their support by tweeting using #PeoplesPost.
We cannot stand by and let this essential service be destroyed.
A group of kind-hearted residents got in touch recently to tell me about the work they are doing to help local people with mental health issues.
The team is called ‘Where There’s Hope’ and its core objective is to find people who go missing, particularly where there may be mental health issues involved.
Though it was originally set up to help locate missing children in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire and parts of Derbyshire, the group also helps search for adults.
The volunteers want to go into schools to speak to young people about mental health and provide confidential drop-in sessions.
This is an excellent initiative on a really important issue. I wish them all the best and look forward to hearing how they get on.
Politics is often considered a bit of a boring subject.
But its strong characters, heated debates and bordering-on-unbelievable events mean that it has always been a rich source of inspiration for novelists, scriptwriters and filmmakers.
Ashfield’s own James Graham is one of the country’s most talented young political playwrights who uses real-life events as the basis for his work.
His play This House, which focuses on the Whips during the Labour government of the 1970s, has recently started a run in London’s West End and has been picking up five-star reviews left, right and centre.
We should all be incredibly proud of what James has achieved. He is a true inspiration to any young Ashfield person who wants to become a writer.